The arrival of spring signals the start of spring-cleaning, a tradition that goes back centuries. As important as cleaning is, it is more effective if you start with spring-organizing. After all, you can’t get much cleaning done if your surfaces are blocked by clutter. Here are some tips to help you get organized in the spring or any time of the year.
- Divide and conquer, part 1. Choose a room or area you want to organize. If it is very cluttered, divide it into sections. De-clutter one section at a time. When you’re done move on to the next section.
- Divide and conquer, part 2. If you share your home, get the gang to help out, even the young ones. A great way to thank the team is to have a treat at the end of the session. Just don’t go shopping!
- Be reasonable about the amount of time you want to spend on your task. I usually work in 4-hour sessions. By the end of a session my client and I are pretty tired and are ready to stop organizing.
- Don’t underestimate the time it will take you to get the job done. On one of my jobs it took my client and me a total of eight hours (four hours each) to clean out a 3’ x 2-1/2’ closet.
- Don’t run back and forth to other parts of the home to put away things. Instead, use a hamper or box to collect items that do not belong in the room. Once the room is done, then put away everything in the basket.
- Don’t let guilt keep you from giving up things you really don’t like or don’t need. Instead, donate it. Believe it or not, there really is someone out there who could really use your unwanted gifts. If you suffer from gift guilt, read, “Guilt-Free Receiving.”
- If it is old, dirty, broken or damaged, do not donate it. Just throw it out. I once helped a church get ready for a rummage sale. I was shocked by the amount of junk that people had “donated.” We ended up throwing away at least a third of the donations.
- Did you know that you wear only 20% of your clothing 80% of the time? That means the rest of your clothing (80%) gets used only 20% of the time, some not at all. To see how often you use your clothes try this trick. Hang your clothes with the opening of the hanger facing towards you. As you use your clothes hang them back in the closet the way you normally would, with the hanger facing the back of the closet. At the end of a a season, look at the clothes that are left on the hangers facing you. Donate the clothes you didn’t use.
- Does your heart tug at you when you are about to give up an item of sentimental value? If so, then take a picture of it. You can relive the memories when you look at the picture without adding to the clutter.